Adaptation

At the conclusion of Spider-Man, director Sam Raimi’s 2002 film adaptation featuring the popular Marvel Comics superhero, Peter Parker denies his love for Mary Jane Watson and accepts the responsibilities of being Spider-Man. Upon Peter’s voice-over declaration “Who am …

Alternative

The term alternative comics implies opposition: an alternative to something. Its meaning depends on the ever-shifting context in which the opposition is staged. While comparisons to other oppositional forms (say, indie music or film) are helpful, the term is rooted …

Archie

The 2017 launch of the Riverdale series on the CW channel cast one of the longest-running franchises in the American comic book industry in an entirely new light. The popular teen drama, with its emphasis on sex and violence, served …

Archive

Comics are not designed to be remembered. Accordingly, it may seem strange to think of comics in relation to archives given that throughout their history, floppy comics in the form of short, bound, and stapled booklets have been created to …

Border

In Comics and Sequential Art (1985), US cartoonist/writer Will Eisner (1917–2005) establishes—by way of particularized form and via specialized function—the art medium’s disciplinary, rhetorical, and speculative stakes. Stressing that a serious study of comics (a.k.a. “sequential art”) lays bare “the …

Caricature

The term caricature emerged in Italy in the sixteenth century and was a form of exaggerated portrait drawing. The distortion or exaggerated representation of people’s features had a long history before that and can be seen in visual work produced …

Cartoon

In a Gary Larson cartoon from The Far Side (1980–95), a pair of archeologists wearing pith helmets and short pants discover “the mummified remains of a prehistoric cave-painter—still clutching his brush!” The artist’s skeleton lies on the cave floor with …

Censorship

Since their debut in the late 1930s, comic books have come under fire from a variety of sources. Criticism originated from three distinct groups, each with its own agenda. First, teachers and librarians objected to comic books, arguing that the …

Circulation

To be in circulation is to be in motion, to flow along or through some course or circuit. Circulation may refer to any movement between people or places, but the term has special meanings for print media such as comic …

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